With Winter Wonderland spilling out of the PA in every mall around the globe, it’s time to go back east, or up north or down south or even across the globe to take your place at the table for the holiday feast. But when there are choices to be made, the season to be merry is not immune to the laws of nature. You can only exist in one place at one time.
If you’re part of a couple, it’s time to decide your destination. Perhaps it’s Thanksgiving in New York and Florida for Hanukah or Christmas. But not everyone gets the time off or the money to criss-cross the nation. Not to mention that rest is also part of the holidays. Standing in line at Terminal Three doesn’t evoke respite.
But, you’ve still got to pick – who wins?
Here are some tools for one of the most sensitive subjects of intimacy – your family or mine?
First, Make Decisions Early!
Don’t put off the decision making in the hopes of delaying heated negotiations. Family and friends need to know your plans so that they can make arrangements of their own. The more time you put between the decision and the holidays, the longer you have to accept what you’ve decided. If this is the biggest discussion of the season, once it’s over, you can kick back and enjoy the yuletide. So make some time, take a breath and practice loving communication.
Respect that the decision is about more than where to go for the Holidays.
Everyone judges their own family, but no one has the right to judge someone else’s family. So hold back on comments like, “Well, your family is nuts, so let’s visit mine.” The holidays have a way of stirring up old pains and patterns. Help your partner talk about their vision for the holidays. Bring this into the decision process. Look at all the factors, cost of travel, what relatives are in poor health and which one of you needs a trip home. Relationships are not about being 50/50 – they’re about having the courage to do what’s best for the relationship.
Put your family first, the one you’ve created with your partner.
The first family to consider when mapping out the holidays is the one you have chosen to be in. You need to celebrate that union, too. If possible, stay home for one of the holidays and create your own traditions. Invite family to come and visit you. You’re allowed to ask them to travel. You won’t be able to please two tribes equally every year. But the decision to nurture your relationship by adding a few days of true vacation for just the two of you will be a gift that keeps giving all year long.
In the end, celebration is a state of being. You don’t have to be in a certain place to have a great holiday. Having two clans that want your company is a blessing of abundance. Start with the love you have for your partner and bring it to with you wherever you go!
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